MS Thesis Presentation by Ameya Shankar Limaye
Tuesday, November 9, 2004

(Dr. David Rosen, Chair)

"Design and Analysis of a Mask Projection Micro StereoLithography System"

Abstract

Mask Projection Microstereolithography (MPµSLA) is an additive manufacturing process capable for fabricating true three-dimensional microparts and hence, holds promise as a potential micro-fabrication process for micro-machine components. With only a few MPµSLA systems developed and studied so far, the research in this field is inchoate and experimental in nature. The process of curing a micropart using an MPµSLA system has not been analytically modeled and no literature on process planning for MPµSLA is available. In order to employ the MPµSLA technology for microfabrication, it is necessary to model its part building process and formulate a process planning method to cure dimensionally accurate microparts.

As a part of this thesis, an MPµSLA system is designed and assembled. The process of curing a single layer using this system is analytically modeled as the “Layer cure model”. The Layer cure model is formulated in two steps. First, the irradiance received by the resin surface is modeled as a function of the system parameters (Irradiance model). Then, the resin used in the system is characterized to experimentally determine its working curve. The Irradiance model and the resin characterization enable us to compute the dimensions of any layer cured using our MPµSLA system in terms of the process parameters. The Layer cure model has been validated by curing test layers on our system.

Finally, the Layer cure model has been inverted to formulate a process planning method to cure layers of the required dimensions. Using this process planning method, it is possible to cure layers within a dimensional error of 3%.